View more photos in Lina Lecaro's Nightranger slideshow.



Remember when social networking amounted to exchanging phone numbers on a napkin over a cocktail or two at a club, bar or party? Maybe we’re old school, but Nightranger still prefers face-to-face over avatars, meeting to Tweeting, and uttered sweet nothings to sexy texts (we got both on Valentine’s Day!). Begrudged and belated in joining Friendster and then MySpace, we hopped the band(width)wagon late once again with Facebook and Twitter last week, and now we’re caught in a cyber cyclone of tagging, wrangling, reading, linking, texting, chatting and rsvp-ing. In this b(rave) new world, you might have to “clique in” to keep up with the party Jones-ers, but now that we all know what everyone else is doing, does anybody have the time or inclination to leave the computer? Yes and no. Last Thursday, Twitter (the site where you can stalk, uh, “follow,” people as they text/“tweet” in the answer to “what are you doing” daily, hourly or by the psycho-second) held its first Twestival LA gathering at Club 740 to benefit charity: water, and by all accounts it was a tweemendous success. Okay, we didn’t go, but we got some texts about it, read the posts, peeped the flickr pics and watched the USTREAM video. So why leave the house? Well, wecan all bring computers (our phones) out with us. Songwriter Allee Willis was counting on it when she recently threw a bash for 91-year-old local drummer dame Jerri Thill at Ghetto Gloss. She awarded anyone who texted a link to her tribute video of Thill with hits from an oxygen bar (in honor of the breathing machine Jer must tote wherever she goes). Unfortunately, the Twitter trend, along with the obsessive texting tendencies of club kids these days, has finally made self-conscious cell diddling at clubs and shindigs socially acceptable. Moreover, it’s becoming part of the nightlife ritual, like dancing, drinking and flirting. (Still looks douchy, though.)



Valentine’s weekend might be a bummer for the lovelorn, but this year there was so much going on (much of it specifically for the unattached: Party Scammers’ Lock & Key party, Bang!’s love-in), there wasn’t time to mope. With our own sweetheart outta town, we opted to bask in the sensual chemistry of a rock supercouple, Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, who played at MOCA for the opening night of revered conceptual artist Dan Graham’s retrospective, “Beyond.” The duo’s enduringly astounding noise fits had us and everyone else completely besotted, too. Moore fondled, then brutalized his ax with a giant nail and file, while Gordon (dressed in a sultry black dress, shorn tights and heels) ravaged her own riffs and grabbed the mike, adding her signature eerie chants and rants. We’ve never been a huge fan (we’re more a traditional hooks-and-melodies kinda gal), but watching the pair live on that tiny stage, in such close — if crazy-packed — proximity was a transcendent experience. We wish we could say the same about Graham’s stuff, but the wine buzz that heightened the music made contemplating the meaning behind the works, many of which involve viewing your own reflection on shiny structures or image on video, a challenge. Though seemingly perfect for narcissistic, self-absorbed L.A. party-goers, the crowds were too distracting/distracted to absorb the full, brilliant mind-fuckery of the exhibit. We’ll be back.



From Sonic Youth to youthful seduction, we ended the night at Lovers & Strangers, a raucous hump-fest thrown by Hang The DJs’ Scarlett Casanova and Hear Gallery downtown. Recalling the undergroundish feel of L.A.’s anything goes art-parties of yore, this one piled in a spirited mesh of Latin-hipster lovelies, tat rats, shaggy-dos, ghetto-fabsters and flamboyant fellas — think HTDJs meets Dance meets Mustache Mondays meets Rhonda. Basically, the cutest, most creative young crowds in town. We finally caught We Are The World (featuring dance maven Ryan Heffington), and their costumed, choreographed electro-rock stage extravaganza lived up to the buzz with masks, flags and lots of flashing lights (next gig: Barracuda on Melrose, on February 28). Dazzler (formerly Totally Radd), a Survivor (as in “Eye of the Tiger”)–style dance-rock outfit played next, and they definitely got the crowd off. We had more fun watching the (new) lovers and (no-longer) strangers hook up and get freaky in the crowd during their set, but Dazzler’s bold and cheeky dance anthems were fun, especially when a giant furry bunny and chicken got on stage to boogie with ’em.

Speaking of Mustache (at La Cita) and Dance (at Arena), Nightranger has popped into both recently, and each club is raging harder than ever. Before MM gets going, you can find regular li’l queen thing Onginaand her pals screening RuPaul’s Drag Race on the patio (she’s a contestant), and then it’s hot guest DJs (N.Y.’s Larry Tee spun when we were there) and wild shows at midnight. This coming Monday, February 23, should be a doozy, with performances by Fade-dra and Heffington co-hort Nina McNeely. See Mustache’s MySpace for more.

Over at Dance, guest DJs have been decking-in weekly, too, though the barely (and not yet) legal regulars get pumped up most by DJ Paparazzi. Over-21 fans can catch him at Giant at Vanguard, along with Steve Aoki, Adam Freeland and Zuper Blaq (a.k.a. this Saturday, February 21. Check Pap’s MySpace, Facebook and Twitter pages (natch) for info.

LA Weekly